Buruburu Girls keen on snatching East Africa crown
Buruburu Girls basketball team coach Julius Otieno says 2019 is their year to excel.
His team, which reclaimed the national title after 18 years of struggle, aim to excel at this year’s Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Association games that begins in Arusha, Tanzania, on Friday. They will be making a return to the regional scene after missing out for two years having featured last in 2016 when Kenya hosted the games in Eldoret.
Otieno said his charges were ready to end the year with the East Africa crown. “This is our year to excel and we want to end it on a high note with the East Africa trophy.,” Otieno said.
He said even though they competed in the 2016 games, they will be looking to improve on their fourth place finish in the 2013 games held in Lira, Uganda. Otieno said they will be wary of Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda. “We have to play each game as if it’s a final because our Burundian, Ugandan and Rwandese opponents will not let us have it that easy. They are very tough and the standards of basketball in the two countries have also improved and that is why they have become a force to reckon with in these games. They have denied Kenyans East Africa trophy in recent years.”
He will bank on captain Chantal Kiyobe’s impressive form that saw her lead Buruburu to victory against Coast’s Kaya Tiwi in the national final. Forward Kiyobe will also be out to prove that her Most Valuable Player at the nationals was no fluke.
Kiyobe showed courage, leading Buruburu to a 43-41 win against Kaya Tiwi to ending their national reign that had began in 2016. Otieno will also depend on Maureen Nyang’anyi and shooting guard Clarice Osula who were instrumental in their national title hunt. Buruburu launch their quest in Group B which has home sides Juhudi and Machame, St Noa of Uganda, Lycee De Kigali (LDK) of Rwanda and LST Gitega of Burundi. Their opening match will be a perfect opportunity to avenge their 44-59 loss during the 2016 games in Eldoret.
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